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Anaemia is characterised by low hemoglobin (Hb) concentration. Despite being a public health concern in Ethiopia, the role of micronutrients and non-nutritional factors as a determinant of Hb concentrations has been inadequately explored. This study focused on the assessment of serum micronutrient and Hb concentrations and a range of non-nutritional factors, to evaluate their associations with the risk of anaemia among the Ethiopian population (n 2046). It also explored the mediation effect of Zn on the relation between se and Hb. Bivariate and multivariate regression analyses were performed to identify the relationship between serum micronutrients concentration, inflammation biomarkers, nutritional status, presence of parasitic infection and socio-demographic factors with Hb concentration (n 2046). Sobel–Goodman test was applied to investigate the mediation of Zn on relations between serum se and Hb. In total, 18·6 % of participants were anaemic, 5·8 % had iron deficiency (ID), 2·6 % had ID anaemia and 0·6 % had tissue ID. Younger age, household head illiteracy and low serum concentrations of ferritin, Co, Cu and folate were associated with anaemia. Serum se had an indirect effect that was mediated by Zn, with a significant effect of se on Zn (P < 0·001) and Zn on Hb (P < 0·001). The findings of this study suggest the need for designing a multi-sectorial intervention to address anaemia based on demographic group.
Multiple micronutrient deficiencies are widespread in Ethiopia. However, the distribution of Se and Zn deficiency risks has previously shown evidence of spatially dependent variability, warranting the need to explore this aspect for wider micronutrients. Here, blood serum concentrations for Ca, Mg, Co, Cu and Mo were measured (n 3102) on samples from the Ethiopian National Micronutrient Survey. Geostatistical modelling was used to test spatial variation of these micronutrients for women of reproductive age, who represent the largest demographic group surveyed (n 1290). Median serum concentrations were 8·6 mg dl−1 for Ca, 1·9 mg dl−1 for Mg, 0·4 µg l−1 for Co, 98·8 µg dl−1 for Cu and 0·2 µg dl−1 for Mo. The prevalence of Ca, Mg and Co deficiency was 41·6 %, 29·2 % and 15·9 %, respectively; Cu and Mo deficiency prevalence was 7·6 % and 0·3 %, respectively. A higher prevalence of Ca, Cu and Mo deficiency was observed in north western, Co deficiency in central and Mg deficiency in north eastern parts of Ethiopia. Serum Ca, Mg and Mo concentrations show spatial dependencies up to 140–500 km; however, there was no evidence of spatial correlations for serum Co and Cu concentrations. These new data indicate the scale of multiple mineral micronutrient deficiency in Ethiopia and the geographical differences in the prevalence of deficiencies suggesting the need to consider targeted responses during the planning of nutrition intervention programmes.
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